Fleur-de-Links: September 9th, 2011

TWEETS:

": why is Colston out for 4 weeks?" Broken collar bone! At least! Prob more like 6!

Heath Evans
W/ Colston out for at least 4 wks should the Saints sign Randy Moss?

Headed home to get my family..i haven't seen my baby girl in a month!! I hope she remembers who her daddy is, LOL..Im missin her like crazy!
Tough loss to GBay. They are a great team. We did some good things, just not enough to win. Appreciate the Who Dats who made the trip

Also meet me at the on williams boulevard in kenner. I will be signing autographs from 11-12:30....see u there!!!

Malcolm Jenkins
All Greater New Orleans area restsurants including Northshore, Houma, and Thibodaux are included in the benefit all day 2moro

Not much sleep last night, time to go to work. Beat the

Mark Ingram will produce in this league. Looks explosive and quick. We'll see how fast he is when he breaks out. I like him tho.

That was tuff... Have to get better... On the flight home now... Pray for us!!

Saints RapidReports
Saints must adjust pass defense

Greer gave a funny quote when a reporter asked him about the defense improving: "In any profession, even in th… (cont)

Saints RapidReports
Packers outplayed Saints on game-winning play

WWL-TV Sports
Jimmy Graham: "It just seemed like I was rushing things just because I recognize man and I’m licking my chops"

Saints RapidReports
Payton's memory short-lived, costs Saints TD

Saints RapidReports
Payton wants players to learn from loss, be self-critical

Larry Holder
Payton on Woodson's non-ejection for punch: "In hindset, there is a protocol that's supposedly followed and obviously it wasn't last night."

WWL-TV Sports
Strief on short-yardage: "Those are tough situations but we have a line that should convert them." He added that it would get fixed.

Saints RapidReports
Payton in not so many words: Woodson should've been ejected

New Orleans Saints
For fans asking about how to get a Sproles jersey, you can preorder it here:

New Orleans Saints
They ship worldwide. Maybe not as fast as Sproles but it will ship! RT : Will you be shipping to UK

Saints RapidReports
Sean Payton ackowledged that Packers KR Randall Cobb surprised the Saints Thursday night by returning a ...


SAINTS LINKS:

Report: Colston has broken collarbone | wwltv.com New Orleans
FOX Sports' Jay Glazer is reporting that Saints receiver Marques Colston broke his collarbone in Thursday night's NFL opener.

Ball should've been in Drew Brees' hands on New Orleans Saints' last play | NOLA.com
Last offensive play wasn't close to the Saints' best offensive play

New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton talks about the loss to the Green Bay Packers | NOLA.com
'Green Bay made the play and we didn't'

Forecast: Saints fans, don't panic just yet | wwltv.com New Orleans
Ralph Malbrough / Contributing Writer
To all the people who think Sean Payton made the wrong play calls when the Saints were in third and fourth short yardage situations, I agree with you. He should have thought outside the box.

New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton Media Q&A (Sept. 9, 2011)
SportsNOLA.com IS New Orleans Sports and beyond. We cover the Saints, Hornets, LSU Tigers, Tulane Green Wave, High School Sports and everything in between.

Post-Packers Comments: Payton, Brees, Ingram, Jenkins - WWL - AM870 | FM105.3 | News | Talk | Sports

Who D'Oh! - WWL - AM870 | FM105.3 | News | Talk | Sports

NBC Gets Strong Ratings For NFL Opener - WWL - AM870 | FM105.3 | News | Talk | Sports

Saints-Packers Postgame Observations: Early defense, late play call fail for New Orleans
SportsNOLA.com IS New Orleans Sports and beyond. We cover the Saints, Hornets, LSU Tigers, Tulane Green Wave, High School Sports and everything in between.

Yes, The Packers and Saints Are Both Still Serious Contenders | The Big Lead
The defenses gave up points and both teams had a special teams touchdown, but the offenses in this one suggest these teams are going to be tough to beat.

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers picked up where they left off - Peter King - SI.com
GREEN BAY -- "Do we play some of the most dramatic games in NFL history?!'' Greg Jennings said to me on Lambeau Field Thursday night, still short of breath from the end of Packers 42, Saints 34. I should think so. Let's try to make sense of the 10th Thursday night opener, the best one since the league went to the new concept in 2002:

Checking the injuries that matter most - NFC South Blog - ESPN
CHICAGO -- I just got into town and will be covering Sunday’s game between the Falcons and Bears. The Saints already played Thursday night and

Brees Feels Good About Direction of Offense

Green Bay’s Randall Cobb, first NFL player born in 1990s, tears it up in rookie debut - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Comprehensive National Football League news, scores, standings, fantasy games, rumors, and more

New Orleans Saints defense can't keep leaning on Brees: Gerry V | NOLA.com
Defense needs to figure out how to get better for a successful year

NFL season jumpstarts the economy - Other Sports - MiamiHerald.com
When the NFL and players struck a deal to end the league's lockout, they didn't just save the football season that begins its first full day of games on Sunday. They saved the most profitable sport in America, the most popular show on TV and billions of dollars that would have disappeared from the economy.

LA In Need Of Football! NFL Opener Gets Strong Local TV Ratings " CBS Los Angeles
If you think Los Angeles doesn't want football team, think again. Los Angeles televison market peaked at the end of the game at a rating of 15.1, an approximate 850,000 house holds.

RealClearSports - Rodgers Trashes Idea of Rustiness

Big plays, big stops for Pack's defense vs. Saints - NFL Wire - The Buffalo News
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - The Green Bay Packers have some rough spots to smooth over on defense after the season-opening victory ov...

 

TRANSCRIPTS:

 

Sean Payton:

Opening Statement:  

"From a scheduling standpoint, today is much like a day after for our players in that we’re watching tape, lifting weights, and going through the game tape and getting it graded and critiqued.  They’ll be off the next two days.  Monday we’ll have a light practice that will be closed.  Tuesday will be their normal day off and then Wednesday will be the first day we’re back with the normal routine of a work week.  Like I said afterwards yesterday, it’s disappointing any time you lose a game, even that much more so when you get close there in the end and you have an opportunity to get back in it.  A handful of things statistically going into that game we felt were going to be important.  The turnover ratio we thought was going to be important.  We talked about that all week.  Those red zone trips with the way that game unfolded, obviously it was a high-scoring game.  We weren’t as efficient in those situations having to settle for field goals and then coming up short on a fourth-and-one.  Lastly, protecting the quarterback.  Both teams threw the ball and had success throwing it.  I thought we were under more duress throughout the night than Green Bay was.  There are a lot of little things that we’re going to get busy working on that we have to clean up and we’re going to have to make a lot of improvement from the first game to the next game.  We’ll have some time to do that."  

   

How do you and Gregg Williams plan to address some of the struggles on defense?  

"You really get back to the details and fundamentals.  There are a lot of things to work on and I mentioned at the onset here – alignments, the proper fits, those things are no different than offensively where we didn’t have success or we came up short.  The kicking game as well, we had a big return last night which really gave us a good boost and kind of got us back in it, and then we gave up a return on kick coverage later in the game.  There’s a lot we have to do and certainly defensively that’s part of it.  We saw one of the better offenses and when we needed the stops late in the game we got them.  That’s kind of the way last night’s game unfolded.  You have ideas of what you’d like to have happened, and yet you have to be flexible enough to understand what’s actually taking place.  We’ll get back to working on all the fundamentals and the little things."  

   

On the last handoff to Mark Ingram, what did the film show you?  

"It’s a goal line play.  It’s a pretty standard play.  It’s a slant, 32 blast.  They were in their goal line defense and we didn’t execute like we had hoped.  There were a lot of things that were done well there and yet we came up short.  Green Bay made the play and we didn’t."  

   

It appeared that Green Bay may have not necessarily known the play, but anticipated it coming.  Is there a pattern that teams are seeing in red zone situations?  

"No, I don’t think so.  I think we look very closely at it.  When you get into a goal line situation on the one yard line, there are two or three runs that you’re going to run.  So to answer your question, no."  

   

Earlier in the game you went with pass plays on fourth and short.  How much did that affect your decision to go with the run at the end?

"There are two different situations.  When you’re on the one yard line in goal line offense, there are a handful of run versus the front that they play, two or three runs, and then it’s play action pass.  We felt pretty good about our matchups inside.  Looking back at the tape, those guys inside did a really good job for us.  The penetration came from outside which really ended up stopping the play.  The fourth-and-one, you have a lot more flexibility as to a number of different plays you’d want to call.  We felt like at the one-yard line, this was a chance for us to punch it in, we felt good about the play and I think collectively our group felt pretty good about it."

What do you tell your team after a game like that besides, "Hey, it’s a tough loss, but it’s just game one?"

"I think the most important thing we have to do is certainly pay close attention to the film and make that improvement from week one to two and really find ourselves pretty critical of what we do.  That’s not just the defense or offense or kicking game, it’s us as coaches looking closely at the tape and really evaluating that loss as hard as that is and getting ready to play next week."

Defensively, the broadcast showed how far of the cornerbacks were playing the wide receivers.  What were your thoughts on that alignment?

"It varies whether we play off or whether we play bump-and-run or whether we play a cloud with safety help over the top.  A lot of it varies with the defense we have called and a lot of it varies depending on the situation in the game.  Oftentimes, there’s going to be an underneath throw.  Sometimes you’re going to have safety help, other times you’re not going to.  They did a good job of executing some of those back shoulder throws especially in the red area on third down.  I think the key component is just having a mix and making sure that we continue to do that and Gregg (Williams) and those guys do a good job with that."

Can you talk about Devery Henderson’s performance last night with Lance Moore out?

"He came up big.  The touchdown pass was a little slow go route.  He caught the corner flat-footed.  He did a good job with his release and Drew (Brees) did a real good job with locating the throw.  It ended up being a big play for us and he had some other big catches in that game.  It’s kind of the nature with our business.  You’re rarely going to be fully healthy and you’re going to have to count on other players to step up and play big.  Darren Sproles obviously played very big in a lot of areas last night.  Those are good things to look at and it’s good to see when you have that depth."

What were some positives you saw from the defensive front?

"We had some young guys get some playing time for the first time and getting a lot of reps.  Cameron Jordan got a lot of snaps in his debut and Turk McBride, a lot of those younger guys were in there and playing with real good energy and effort.  Jeff Charleston coming off the injury he had a couple weeks prior.  Junior Galette, those are guys without a lot of playing experience that received a lot of snaps and I think that’s going to benefit them as we go down the road in the schedule.  As a coach, you’re always anxious to see how your young guys are going to play and perform.  Those guys did some real good things last night."

Do you think Charles Woodson should have been tossed for his personal foul?

"We don’t get the same looks that you guys do in regards to the visuals.  I’ve only heard it.  In hindsight, there is a protocol that’s supposedly followed and obviously it wasn’t last night."

Do you have a main concern about the defense?

"I wouldn’t point to one area.  We played what we feel like is a really good football team last night.  We feel like we’re a really good football team.  I think the most important concern that I have as a head coach is just in the things that we can control between now and next week in that improvement, our work, week, and when we get back together on Monday putting a good practice together, having a plan in place to get ready for the Chicago Bears.  Obviously we have some younger players playing on both sides of the ball and in the kicking game there’s a learning curve that goes with that, but I think just the improvement – making sure that from week to week we’re getting better not just as a defense but as an offense and as a team."

On Randall Cobb’s kickoff return, were your guys surprised that he returned it from eight yards deep in the end zone?

"Looking at it, that really wasn’t the culprit.  He made a great play and there were some missed tackles in there and some mistakes by us in coverage, not fitting the right lane, and then giving him what should have been a decent gain to a touchdown.  I do know that there wasn’t any letup because the ball went into the end zone."

Did you use Darren Sproles the way you expected to?

"We felt like we were going to get a returner and certainly we saw that last night, but we also felt like we were going to get someone who would help us out in the passing game and the running game.  He has great versatility, he’s smart, and he’s awfully competitive.  He’s been a great addition to what we do as a team and he helps us out not just offensively, but he helps us out in the kicking game and I think he’s someone that’s very well-respected in the locker room. It’s great to see him play well early."

With the changes on the interior defensive line, is it matching up to what you expected?

"I wouldn’t want to, after week one, start evaluating or making grades or measuring up grades on what guys are doing.  We have a lot of football ahead of us and we feel really good about the players we’ve acquired.  Obviously it’s always disappointing the day after a tough loss, but that’s kind of where we are at.  We’re paying close attention to the film, we’re going to make the corrections and work hard to make today productive and then Monday get ourselves ready to start with the Chicago Bears week."

Was it an easy decision to sit Lance Moore?

"We kind of knew before the plane was going to leave.  The nature of his injury was one that we felt collectively that a setback would be one that you almost start all over again with the type of injury he has.  I don’t know if he was close.  We listed him out at the end.  He practiced the first day of last week and then it was just a matter of trying to day-to-day see where he was at but I think in the end all of us felt pretty comfortable with it."

Did Marques Colston get hurt on that last play?

"It was the second to last play.  All of these guys were in here today getting treatment.  We had two or three guys with specific injuries.  Wednesday we will give you the first injury report in the afternoon."

 

Drew Brees:

t seems like anytime a receiver goes down, someone steps up. Can you talk about Devery Henderson’s performance?
"Devery played great. Devery played awesome. Because we are one short with Lance (Moore) being out, they all had to pick up the slack anyway and I thought all of them had some pretty gutsy performances and played a lot of snaps because we were in a lot of nickel, three wideout formations. They received a lot of snaps and thought as a whole, they played well."

On the untimed down on fourth and one at the end of the game, did it appear that the Packers knew what was coming?
"They guessed right on the fourth and six inches we had in the fourth quarter and obviously we tried to fool them with play action passes. We had it covered on fourth down at the end of the game with a chance to tie it. They got a very good push. Clay Matthews, one of their best players on defense, did a great job of kind of splitting his gap and holding up (Mark) Ingram, while the other linebackers were able to jump over the top. There were a couple of things there where if you had better execution you would have put it in the end zone. We scored on that play many times. What’s to think you’re not going to do it then?"

How did Zach Strief handle his challenge?
"I thought he did great facing one of the best pass rushers in the league on that side in Clay Matthews. Strief’s one of those guys where it might have been his first game as a full-time starter now, but he’s a guy who the last five years has stepped in whenever, wherever and has really done a great job and has been just kind of been biding time waiting for his opportunity. He’s definitely making the most of it. I have total trust and confidence in him, not even a thought in my mind as to who that pass rusher is over there."

Can you talk about the one minute offense you ran with no timeouts?
"Obviously, 1:08, no timeouts, you need to move the ball 80 yards to score a touchdown, you really don’t want to be in bounds unless it’s a big chunk. So we’re trying to get out of bounds. We get out of bounds on ten yard plays on the first two plays. (Robert) Meachem gets a 20-yard gain and Marques (Colston) gets a 25-30-yard gain and then (Darren) Sproles gets another ten-yard gain. We’re sitting there with a chance to tie the game and get in the end zone. Obviously we get the P.I. (pass interference) penalty and we get the untimed play at the one. One down, this is it, last play of the game, as far as it is, no time left. You couldn’t ask for any more than that with a chance to send the game into overtime."

What did you think of Jimmy Graham’s championship pose?
"I saw it watching film today."

Did you have a talk with him about it?
"No, this is a game with emotion and that stuff happens all the time. Teams come in and try to do that stuff to us. Occasionally that stuff comes out when guys are in the heat of the moment. I don’t think he meant any disrespect by it, but what I think he was saying is we’re champions too and we’re going to find a way to come back and win this game and come really close."

Did you see the shot from Charles Woodson on David Thomas?
"I was right there. It was an obvious punch. I’m surprised he didn’t get kicked out of the game, because the referee saw it and threw the flag. A lot of people saw it. He thought he was being sneaky with it. Dave’s one of those guys who’s to the whistle. He blocks a lot of guys, blocks them well. Guys get frustrated sometime and want to take it out on him. We’ll take 15 yards every time."

Despite some short yardage issue, does going blow to blow with the defending champs show that this is two heavyweights fighting it out?
"The tough part is no matter who you play, you look at the won-loss record and we’re 0-1 right now. That leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Yes, they’re a great football team, probably one of the best, obviously not only what they did last year, but coming into this year I think. They’re one of those teams everybody’s predicting to make a serious run at it in the NFC, but we feel we’re that team as well. Going on the road, first game of the season where both sides have been saving it up for each other you know it was going to be a crazy game. It very well could have been a 17-14 defensive matchup, because there are two great defenses in this game. Instead it ended up being a shootout. I hope we get another opportunity down the road this year to play these guys. Obviously there are a lot of games left. They have a lot of work to do. We have a lot of work to do, but it hurts that we lost, but you see a lot of good things on that tape. You also see a lot of things that we have to correct in order to accomplish what we want to accomplish later on. I think all in all you come away saying you can build on that."

What do you take from this game and bring to Chicago?
"I thought we ran the ball pretty well. They were having trouble getting lined up a little bit and I thought our guys did a great job of figuring who to block. The running backs all played very well when given their opportunities. That was really encouraging. In the passing game, I felt like we got a lot of big plays. We picked up a lot of the pressure. We were able to push the ball down the field and really got everybody involved. As I looked to us offensively, we played a really solid game with the exception of the one turnover that gave them seven points in the first quarter and the red zone efficiency. But other than that, when you walk away from a game with 500 yards total offense from one of the best teams in the league on the road, you have to feel pretty good about the direction we’re headed."

Did Darren Sproles give opponents a lot of smile about?
"I’m smiling because I know Sprolesie. I was in San Diego when we drafted him, I watched his career, so I know what this guy can do. I was one of his biggest proponents to come here and be a part of this, because I think he fits in great with this offense. I see his role continuing to flourish in this offense. Is he going to return a punt for a touchdown every week? Maybe not, but gosh you feel like if you can get that guy in the open field, he makes it exciting. He gives defenses something to worry about."

What did you think of his yards per touch?
"He had over 250 yards including return yardage, but offensively he ran the ball well. He was our leading receiver with seven catches."

 

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